February 7, 2023

Nigeria, Bulgaria negotiates on new Scholarship programmes

… Seek improved cooperation

By Chioma Obinna

The Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Yanko Yordanov at the weekend in Lagos disclosed that the Bulgarian government will soon conclude negotiations with the Nigerian government on new scholarship programmes aimed at improving cooperation in critical areas between the two countries.

Yordanov who spoke at a symposium titled: ‘A Day with the Ambassador’, also disclosed that there was a 1,010 increase in the trade volumes between Nigeria and Bulgaria in 2022

The Ambassador who also highlighted some of his achievements said once the negotiations on the programmes are concluded it will be the most important achievement of his tenure.

“We are about to conclude the negotiations on the new scholarship programmes between Nigeria and Bulgaria. And I believe that once it is concluded, it will be the most important achievement of my tenure here; because we will set up cooperation in critical areas of education like agriculture, pharmaceutical and other areas. Definitely, I believe very soon we will announce a lot of things,” he added.

Stating that he was committed to fostering the Bulgarian-Nigerian relationship, he added that his tenure has doubled the trade volumes between Nigeria and Bulgaria.

“If you compare the statistics of 2022 to 2021, you’ll see a 1,010 per cent increase in the trade volumes, which I think it’s a significant thing and one of the outcomes of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria’s visit to Bulgaria last year,” he stated.

On the alumni exchange communities, he said, with the alumni association, they have 4000 ambassadors of Bulgaria in Nigeria, which makes it beneficial for both countries.

“They will help promote Bulgaria and bring some memories back. Bulgaria is a valuable partner with a proven record of partnership and cooperation. For example, was Bulgaria who the Lagos National Theatre, built by a Bulgarian and but it’s sort of fact that is largely forgotten.”

In his address, President, of the United States Government Exchange Alumni Association, USGEAA, Mr Mike Okwoche, said the symposium marks the beginning of a new journey of partnership, collaboration and of friendship between Bulgaria and the United States Government Exchange Alumni in Nigeria.

He explained that the USGEAA is an umbrella body of over 30 Alumni groups composed of thorough-bred professionals leading the pack in their various fields of endeavour and changing the immediate communities they find themselves.

He said their 24,000 members are found across the entire country and have made their marks in Fashion, Digital Tech, Food processing, agriculture, Academia, Medicine, Politics, Media, Visual Arts amongst others.

He said the USGEAA was established in 2017 by the United States mission in Nigeria to reflect the cooperation and friendship that exists between the U.S. and Nigeria which manifests through opportunities in Human capital development, youth empowerment, gender-based advocacy, Skill development, training and mentoring, collaboration and partnerships, trade development, research.

He hinted the Ambassador of the robust friendship between Nigeria and Bulgaria spanning many decades, appreciating the various ways they cooperate and work together as friendly countries.

Speaking, USGEAA Publicity Secretary, Ms. Wofai Samuel described the symposium as an excellent bilateral youth cooperation between Nigeria and Bulgaria.

She said: “Not so much has been heard about Nigeria and Bulgaria, especially for our young people.

So what the USGEAA had done now is open a conversation which we will follow through with active dialogue and action to ensure that our members find collaborations and opportunities in areas of interest to them in Bulgaria and vice versa”.

In his keynote address, the attorney-general and Commissioner for Justice in Oyo State, Prof. Edward Oyewo, who spoke on the theme “Harnessing Alumni Inter-country relations noted the importance of alumni exchange association.